Dear CUMU Members and Supporters,

I am pleased to announce that Valerie Holton, Ph.D., LCSW, has been named interim executive director of CUMU. She steps into this role after Bobbie Laur accepted the position of president of Campus Compact.

Holton brings a rich and diverse set of professional experiences to the role, including serving as part of the CUMU’s leadership team. She was named executive editor of Metropolitan Universities journal in 2017, following Dr. Barbara A. Holland and having been a guest editor and author for the journal. As CUMU’s senior fellow, she has helped to direct the Coalition’s strategic planning and operational efforts with the goal of improving the member experience. Valerie was charged to lead the creation of the Barbara A. Holland Scholar-Administrator Award, which is now in its fifth year, and to develop CUMU’s partnership with The Democracy Collaborative that then expanded into a 35-member Anchor Learning Network.

In assuming this new role, Holton notes that, “The CUMU team is focused on supporting campuses realizing the fullness of being urban and metropolitan serving institutions, crafting opportunities for collaboration, and inviting new institutions into CUMU so that they can benefit from and contribute to our incredibly generous member community.”

Holton’s involvement with CUMU is grounded in her appreciation for how the Coalition helps its members contend with the complexities of this work. “CUMU exists, in part, to allow its members to exchange ideas and examples of how to dismantle barriers and institutionalize practices to enable intentional, transformative change. That support was invaluable to me, as a CUMU member, in my own leadership work.”

“I’m grateful to support CUMU through this transition. Bobbie’s leadership has placed us in a steady and forward-looking path. I can’t imagine a better time to invest in and invite others to share in the promise of this coalition,” said Holton.

CUMU is valued for its collegiality, authentic approach, and commitment to action. And, I am working with Towson University and the CUMU Executive Committee to fill this vacancy with a leader who will be a champion of our mission; be passionate about the role and impact of our urban and metropolitan campuses; and be someone who thrives in a collaborative environment and who has a track record of building mutually beneficial partnerships within and beyond higher education.

Once the position description is finalized in the next several days, we will share the URL with you via email. We are excited to build on CUMU’s success and look forward to the opportunities ahead of us.

Kind regards,

William A. Covino
President, California State University, Los Angeles
President, CUMU Executive Committee